Shots and Joint Pain

If you’re like many people, just reading the word shots in the title is enough to make you click to the next article. But, if you have joint pain, a ‘shot’ (or injection) may be a great option to provide some relief.
March 27, 2020 | 2 min read
Christa S. Plew, MBA
Editor-in-Chief

There is a variety of options for treating joint pain ranging from low-impact exercise, to injections, to joint replacement, depending on your specific condition and severity. If you’ve tried other methods of relieving joint pain, but aren’t ready to have joint replacement surgery, talk to your doctor about whether or not an injection is right for you.

What is an injection?

An injection is a shot given in the joint that’s causing you pain. There are varying types of common substances that surgeons use to treat joint pain through an injection. Ask your surgeon which substance may be right for you; some of the following information and associated risks will vary by the substance used, your individual condition, and the location of the injection.

Will the shot hurt?

Probably, to some degree. While doctors will likely numb the area prior to administering the shot, there could still be some discomfort. However, the potential benefits from the medicine could outweigh the short-term pain caused from the needle. If you’re concerned about receiving a shot, here are a few things you can do:

  • Ask your doctor if a smaller needle is possible.
  • Request something to desensitize your skin.
  • Relax. Take deep breaths and talk to your doctor if you are overly concerned about the pain.

How long will the procedure take?

The procedure can be done in your doctor’s office and typically only last about 20 minutes from start to finish.

How soon will I feel relief?

It’s possible to experience injection-site pain for a day or two after treatment, which typically resolves on  its own.1 Your doctor may recommend ice packs or ibuprofen to help. The medicine from the injection usually takes effect very quickly, within 48 hours.

How often will I need shots?

Many variables determine this. Talk to your doctor if you feel pain starting to return. Your doctor may place limitations on how often you can have an injection, and the total number of injections permitted.

Our bodies are made to move. If joint pain is holding you back, talk to your doctor about your options and the risks associated with injections.

References
  1. Cluett, J. (2018, Oct 7). Do Cortisone Injections Hurt? Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/do-cortisone-injections-hurt-2549713
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